Season’s Greetings

The NBA’s Clippers, NHL’s Avalanche and a Hollywood ‘Extra’ usher in Anticipation Season

Illustration by Jon Estrada

Illustration by Jon Estrada

September is the lone chill month in the back half of the year. After Labor Day, we’re done with all the high-strung anxieties of summer—summer romances, summer songs, catching all the summer movies, trying to maintain a summer beach body if you haven’t embraced the life-affirming freedom of wearing a T-shirt to the pool.

But once October hits, the Anticipation Season begins. Not just about the holidays, Anticipation Season starts roughly when the world starts complaining about too much pumpkin-spiced foodstuff and runs through February. Anticipation for the baseball playoffs, for Halloween, for seeing and then fleeing from your family at Thanksgiving, for Christmas, for trying to eat twice your body weight in cheese sauce on Super Bowl Sunday. (This is why you need to embrace the life-affirming freedom of wearing a T-shirt to the pool.)

It’s the kind of thing that seeps into the atmosphere. And here to play aperitif to the start of the NHL and NBA seasons were the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clips spent six days of their training camp in Las Vegas, practicing at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center in hopes of getting good enough to generate an old-fashioned L.A. bandwagon that can attract more celebrity fans than just Frankie Muniz. Off the court, the Basketball Mets—who return October 18 for a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at the Mandalay Bay Events Center—made the rounds. That included a team dinner at Tao on October 2 that saw Glen “Big Baby” Davis convince the DJ to play his “Big Baby Gon’ Turn It Up,” then he lip-synched for the restaurant. Naturally, Davis went and saw Absinthe the next night. Blake Griffin and several teammates and staff went to Michael Jackson One instead. Take the hint, Cirque: Base a show around the other MJ. That’s right: Space Jam: A Cirque Extravaganza. There’s already a Spin Doctors-Biz Markie tune on that soundtrack, which is way weirder than anything Cirque already does now.

Meanwhile, the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings took on the Avalanche on October 4 for Frozen Fury XVI at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but ’Lanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was a gadfly during his time here. He was up at Tao nightclub with some teammates at the same time the Clippers were putting on a show in the restaurant. The night before the game, Landeskog had dinner with friends at Lavo. The next night, he gave up a turnover that led to a Kings goal. Someone’s flirting with a curfew.

Mario Lopez is gearing up for his new life as a tell-all author. To celebrate the release of his book Just Between Us (in which Lopez says Tiger Woods refused to take a photo with Lopez at a charity event and instead shook his hand—certainly the biggest Tiger scandal of our time), he celebrated at XS on October 3. He and wife Courtney Mazza—they both were also celebrating their birthdays—went from dinner at Andrea’s to XS, where they got their own individual cake celebrations. That’s just a smart move on the part of XS boss Jesse Waits: You don’t want to end up in Lopez’s next book as the guy who only brought out one cake for two birthdays.

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